Snippets from Calteir: the Rutter of the Pirate Sea

The Rutter of the Pirate Sea is a series of maps and notes by an unknown Morensian pilot from approximately 650 SR. The maps and notes are quite accurate, describing many places to the west of Morensia, and appear to describe locations as far away as Eastern Orsamos.

A few sample passages from the Rutter:

Do not accept coins from merchants of Erekios. Their coins are trustworthy, but they are not. Ask an Erekian man for 1000 coins and he will give you 996.

The Wine Festival of the Kina states is very enjoyable. Bring a good wooden mug. Pottery will not last more than five breaths. Do not venture into the festival with anyone you do not want to see naked.

Day 45. We come to a broad bay, flanked by flaming lights. This is the port for the City of the Incense-Eaters. The whole town is full of fragrant smoke. Many sailors wanted to linger here.

The people here use lion teeth for currency. Only great heroes can afford to buy anything of value. After haggling unsuccessfully, the sailors wanted to move on.

Here, 106 days into my journey, I met a madman who spoke flawless Morensian. He greeted me with a friendly hello, but could not tell me his name nor his history. He was not a slave, nor a pilgrim, nor did he seem especially poor. I could not determine what brought him here.

Had a pleasant chat with the pirates who had beset us. They discussed the Cult of the White Sun and how it had driven them to piracy. We exchanged a few secrets.

Fisherfolk here subsist on floating wood, fish spines and gravel. One of the locals invited us to a feast of bricks and dirty rags. The constellations were warped and unfamiliar. We left in great haste.

Day 240: This morning, a single feather was borne to us on the wind. About noon, another feather arrived. An hour ago, the same thing happened again. Yet there are no birds here.

To many Morensians, the “Pirate Sea” includes the whole Ocean as far as the Middle Sea. This is true of the Rutter, as well; this is why the book covers places as far away as Eastern Orsamos.

The notes are written in fairly hard-to-read Morensian Script. Some copies of the book try to faithfully reproduce the bad handwriting; others try to interpret it into understandable Morensian. There are at least a few different variants, depending on who is doing the interpreting. In fact, at least one modern scholar is trying to compile a Collected Commentaries and Treatises on the Rutter of the Pirate Sea.

Several scholars also purport to own the original Rutter. The Monastery of Mother Ocean of Peshinath in Gyrthbae has perhaps the strongest claim to having the original, with a detailed record of provenance. The notes on whose hands the Rutter has passed through is almost as interesting as the Rutter itself: the monastery’s copy has been owned by a Rhodian merchant who lost it in a bet with a pirate-queen of Yolatra, who in turn lost it shortly before becoming Queen of the Samorol region of Morensia.

Categories: Books, Sailing

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